Phuket’s Southern Toe – Rawai and Nai Harn
The second in our regional Phuket features concentrates on the island’s southernmost promontory the “big toe” of Chalong-Rawai and Nai Harn that protrudes into the Andaman Sea pointing due south towards the Racha Islands and beyond to the Straits of Malacca.
The region stretches from the infamously congested Chalong ‘turning circle’ and Chalong Bay, down through Rawai, on to Promthep Cape and Thailand’s southernmost lighthouse, then west and north to diminutive Ya Nui Beach and then its bigger sister…beautiful Nai Harn Beach.
It is an area with a laid-back Bohemian charm, where the ravages of development have not yet reached every nook and cranny and where many Thais and foreign ex-pat residents make their homes and raise their families.
It is quieter and a lot less hectic than Patong or Surin and a loss less hectic than Phuket Town and tends to attract far more residents than tourists as its main demographic.
The Rawai Nai Harn Business Association is a group of independent companies in the south of Phuket who have joined together to promote this lovely region and in particular Rawai and Nai Harn.
The association has 9 main sponsors: The Golden Tulip Mangosteen Resort & Spa, Serenity Resort & Residences, The Vijitt Resort Phuket, Atmanjai Detox & Wellness Center, The Davinci Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Atsumi Healing Wellness Retreat,Phuket Consult, Sea Bees Diving and BlueD.Zine
In addition to these nine main sponsors, other independent businesses in the south of the island have joined the association to promote their business and the area. One of the main advantages of the association is the Rawai Nai Harn Benefits Card which offers a minimum of 15% discount at all of the participating businesses.
Additional discounts with the Benefits Card can be found on ach company’s individual website.
The Main Businesses in the Rawai-Nai Harn Business Association
Serenity Resort & Residences always surprises and delights its privileged guests. Just 64 rooms; sumptuous, oversized suites; and pool residences, some enjoying their own private pools. Serenity Resort and Residences is also ideal for private events and parties, weddings and executive gatherings, which an be held either in one of the many spectacular locations within the resort or at the trendy East 88 Beach Lounge.
Located on secluded Friendship Beach, The Vijitt Resort Phuket features private villa accommodation among its lovely environment and indigenous tropical flowers. The result is a piece of paradise….an ideal escape for relaxation and privacy.
If you want to relax, rejuvenate, or restore health and energy –Atmanjai Wellness Center @ Friendship Beach offers the most powerful programs available in Thailand. The relaxing waterfront location provides a comfortable and peaceful environment to enjoy your personallydesigned and professionally managed wellness program.
Davinci is not just a restaurant, it is a location where you can relax and enjoy great food, wine and music in alfresco garden dining. Relax with a cocktail from the V Lounge or enjoy a pizza in a relaxed atmosphere while your children play in the children’s play area Enjoy fine Italian cuisine from seafood to great steaks and great wines from around the world.
Atsumi Healing Wellness Retreat provides a tranquil escape from the stresses of everyday life, a place to embrace holistic change and replenish your body’s precious energy. We invite you to enter a physical, mental and emotional transformation that promises to be a life changing experience that will improve every aspect of your health and vitality. The center provides a selection of well-proven, safe and effective Fasting and Detoxification programs, utilizing high quality natural organic herbs, raw and living foods, cleansing drinks and colon cleansing. During your stay you can enjoy many healthy pursuits including yoga, meditation, tai chi, chi gong and relaxing spa treatments.
The Golden Tulip Mangosteen Resort & Spa sits on a private hillside with stunning sea views over the Andaman Sea and Phuket’s outlying islands. Enjoy 41 villa-style rooms in the middle of lush tropical gardens, plus oversize swimming pool, gourmet restaurant with underground wine cellar, exclusive Ayurveda Spa, Fitness Center and Lounge Bar.
Phuket Consult provides personal executive assistance and understands that local knowledge is invaluable. They can help in negotiating the sale of a property or vehicle; assisting in times of emergency; police matters; or with relocation and property maintenance. Phuket Consult also provides mediation and translation services and elps in dealings with local institutions.
Sea Bees Diving, established over 20 years ago, is an SSI Diamond Instructor Training Facility that caters to all diving needs. On the daily dive trips nd live-aboard friendly, professional staff ensure an unforgettable time.
Blue D.Zine is an established IT company located at the Software Park. They have been providing software development, web design services and delivering business solutions to clients worldwide since 2003.
The Nai Harn Area in Detail
A quiet area at the southern end of Phuket, Nai Harn is one of the island’s most beautiful locations and most popular places with in-the-know locals. This tranquil place has only a few hotels including the The Royal Phuket Yacht Club and is a favorite anchorage for boats during the high season.
Great for swimming from November to April, however care should be take in the low season (May-October) when there can be strong undertows on occasion. The local restaurants just above the beach make a great place to relax with a sundowner.
Just north of Nai Harn, along the coast, is Nui Beach…. small, secluded and difficult to access. Further south is Ya Nui, a sandy cove that attracts snorkelers and divers. Another out-of-the way spot nearby is the tiny beach of Ao Sane, great spot for snorkeling, reached by taking the little road that starts through the car park of the Royal Phuket Yacht Club Hotel.
Nai Harn beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket with its excellent water quality. It’s framed on both sides by jungle-covered mountains and there’s a large freshwater lagoon inland. Never overloaded, even in high season, Nai Harn’s usually busier at weekends as it is popular with both Thais and expats.
All year round the water is a comfortable 29°C. Flat lakelike crystal-clear water invites you for a dip November to May. From June to October on occasion there can be days where larger waves attract surfers and prevent swimming however these days are rare.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food at Nai Harn. You can order sandwiches, ice creams, cut fruit and a range of drinks that includes beer, soft drinks and juices directly from your sun-bed rental people, so you don’t even have to interrupt your tanning.
There’s a wealth of choices at restaurants that line the top of the beach. Most are very reasonably priced and have menus that seem to go on forever. Pretty much any Thai dish you could want will be available in addition to many international favorites.
Chalong Bay in Detail
Chalong’s muddy east coast shoreline makes it unsuitable for swimming but it’s an ideal spot for yacht mooring and so Chalong is a center for intense boating activity. Early mornings and late afternoons are the busiest times, when diving and day trip groups are bundled on and off boats. The Ao Chalong Yacht Club, which organizes regular sailing races, makes its base here and its bar is a favorite spot for sailors to swap yarns and party.
Chalong’s most noticeable feature is its 720-meter long, seven-meter wide jetty, which replaced the rickety old wooden pier in 2001. A parking area and a number of restaurants, shops, tourist information kiosks and open-air waiting areas have been built to serve the many visitors passing through.
Coral Island (Koh Hae) Chalong is also close by nearby islands where many people enjoy taking day trips. One is Coral Island about four kilometers southeast of Phuket. This lovely island is home to many hard corals (i.e. brain, boulder and table corals) and a rocky sea bed. It’s a good spot to view many interesting types of tropical marine life such as parrot fish, groupers and butterfly fish. Coral Island is quite small, only 800 meters rom north to south, and about three kilometers from east to west. The island’s two beautiful white sandy beaches arei deal to relax on after swimming and snorkeling.
Chalong is a favorite destination for yachtsman to drop their anchors. Within immediate walking distance of the pier, newcomers will see various types of eating venues, big and small, old and new.
The cuisine is not limited to only Thai and seafood but it covers good range of international tastes. Such places include Kan Eang@Pier, Tasanee Seafood, Captain Hook, The Lighthouse and the Anchor Bar.
The Rawai Area in Detail
Rawai became the very first tourist beach on Phuket, many years ago when people from Phuket Town would drive the 17km to Rawai on weekends to while away the afternoon underneath the beach’s Casuarina trees rather than risk the (then) dangerous drive over the hill to Phuket’s west coast.
Nowadays Rawai is a ‘workingbeach’ and a launching point for day boat excursions out to Phuket’s surrounding islands. Many long-tail boats are available for hire lining its shores, where you can arrange a trip to Coral Island, Koh Lone or Racha Island, or a fishing or snorkel Chalong Bay trip. The beach is also used as a mooring point for the many fishermen who live in the area.
Rawai is home to the fivestar resorts, Evason and Mangosteen and quite a few of Phuket’s foreign expat population live in the area, lending a Bohemian and laid-back flavor to the way of life. Favorite haunts are Friendship Beach, towards Chalong, and Rawai’s beachfront bars including the iconic Nakita’s.